Normally, I might take a page from The Big Book of Janice Dickinson and lament whether this hunchy pose is actually the best idea.
But the thing is, it might BE the best idea. We’ve all seen covers of Miley glaring down her nose at the camera, or sticking out her tongue, or jutting out her chin with flashing and defiant eyes. This one is soft, and vulnerable, and minimalist, playing very well with the notion that the cover story might be more raw and real and heartfelt than some of her blustery ones of the past. Best of all, it is designed to emphasize those glorious eyes. My gaze goes directly there and is hard-pressed to leave. Not even for a story about why I need a new co…. wait a minute, I am now staring at that line about needing a new coat. I DO need a new coat. Right? I mean, EVENTUALLY it will get cold in Los Angeles, a bit, and then I’ll be so glad I did it, right? Obviously. Thank you, Elle, for being my enabler today. My family regrets this but I NEVER WILL. And now, back to my regularly scheduled gawking at Miley’s baby blues.
The cover story is not quite as revolutionary as all that – it ends up being a bit more of the same, honestly – though I do think there are some nice pieces that point to her genuinely caring about what she does, be it charity work or in this case The Voice:
If I’m here, I’m going to do it for real. I’m not acting; I’m not playing me. People forget that their actions make them who they are. So many people say, “I’m a good person!” Like, why are you a good person? To be a good person you have to actively be good. I try to show that how I treat these contestants makes me who I am as a human.
But I thought this part, about her disinterest in Mariah Carey, was more interesting:
I’ve never really been a fan, because it’s so much about Mariah Carey. That’s part of her shtick; I can see through that. That’s part of what makes her a gay icon; like, it’s about Mimi! It’s about what she’s wearing, and it’s about her. What I make isn’t about me. It’s about sharing my story; it’s about someone being connected to what I’m saying.
That is a tad rich coming from Miley Cyrus, who has recently spent many years embedded in shtick. Basically everything she’s worn, the obsessive discussion of her weed habits, the stuck-out tongue obsession… that is absolutely categorizable as being about what she’s wearing, or about her, or yes, shtick. I believe — and correct me if I’m wrong — that even MILEY has more or less said that she did a lot of that stuff as a gag or a gimmick because she was operating on another plane from the rest of us and being super profound. Perhaps she’d argue that it was all just authentically who she was in the moment, but then, couldn’t one make that same argument about Mariah? Maybe THAT is who she really is, and her idea of sharing her story. So as usual, there are bits of nice self-reflection, and then bits that point to lingering self-delusion as well. But she’s pretty articulate, and in truth, I would rather read one of her interviews than, say, a cover piece promoting another celebrity lifestyle book. So that’s something.